Both ileostomies and colostomies can either be permanent or reversible. An ileostomy stoma is usually on the right side of the abdomen whereas a colostomy is on the left. An ileostomy stoma is made from the small intestine and the colostomy is made from the large, therefore an ileostomy stoma is usually a bit smaller.
The biggest difference is that ileostomy output will vary from watery to a paste like consistency whereas, depending on whereabout
s in the large intestine the colostomy stoma is put, output can range from solid to pasty (the higher up in the intestine the stoma is, the less solid output will be as there is less intestine left to absorb water). Ileostomates, therefore, typically wear drainable bags (where you just drain the stool from the bag into the loo) whereas colostomates usually wear closed end bags (ie they just take the old bag off and dispose of it and put a new one on).
Many people with a colostomy of the sigmoid or descending colon can irrigate whereas ileostomates can't. Irrigation means giving yourself a water enema every 24 - 48 hours which returns all the stool at once leaving you stool free until the next irrigation. This means that you probably won't have to wear a bag, just a piece of gauze or similar over the stoma instead.
I hope this helps. Good luck with your decision.
I have had an ileostomy for 31 years now due to UC.
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I'm not a complete idiot - some parts of me are missing!